In the interest of trying to calm Lydia from frantic revision in preparation for a week of exams next week, we prised her out of her bedroom and with a bag of books we drove to Little Dartmouth to take advantage of the sun whilst she read. In the event, she enjoyed an hour of fun in one of our favourite haunts.
A warm late May bank holiday weekend brought the girls out into the garden to kick-start their tans! Lydia and Julia relax on cheap Sainsbury's loungers whilst Lynn enjoys the intense heat on her 'corner of the garden' decking area (more of Ken's old decking wood). She has wanted an area like this for years as it catches the last of the day sun rays.
A friend, Ken, who is the gardener for our next door neighbour often brings me the odd log for the fire; or tells me about a tree he has cut down so I can go and fill the van to keep the winter fires burning. He recently brought a number of off-cuts of old decking from his garden for me to burn. Well, it was far to good wood to burn so I turned it into a garden bench that you can see below. Lynn looks very comfortable on it!
We go to great effort to ensure that customers of the Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority get value for money when they sail into the River Dart. The picture shows me drawing on my experience as a musician to entertain a couple of sailors enjoying a night downer on board their yacht. Irish reels and wistful Celtic melodies could be heard throughout the moorings!
Today Lydia and I left our house at 5.30am to drive to Bristol for the first of her Biology exams, commencing at 9am and lasting for 0NE hour! The pictures show the 'before' and 'after' emotions of Lydia. Having arrived home I spent the afternoon planing off some wood to build a garden bench from some off-cuts of decking. I will shortly be attending an official reception at Britannia Royal Naval College to say farewell to the RM Band, and then I will dash up to church to run the Rock Solid club for teens. Roll on retirement ... oh, I forgot, I am retired!
A few weeks ago Colin appeared at church one Sunday morning. He had sailed in from Gosport on his Moody 42 sailing yacht 'Lorelia'. Well, Colin has been a real help with the clubs at church and yesterday we invited him round for lunch after church. We watchd his yacht in the strong winds from the comfort of our living room, and all seemed to be well. However, we attended a talk given by Baroness Caroline Cox in the afternoon, about the work she has done and is doing in countries where there is great need. During this talk Colin received a call from the Harbour Office - his yacht had broken free of its anchor! So today we spent a fruitless hour grappling for the lost anchor and 5 metres of chain. I think that the sea has claimed that one!
May bank holiday Monday blew a chill wind across the country, but our hearts were warmed by sharing some time with Jonathan, Becky, Abigail and daughter Hannah with a BBQ in the garden of Chez Hacker. It is always a blessing to be with these friends who show such love and support to us.
Last Saturday, Lynn and I were delighted to attend the retirement dinner of friend and former colleague Colonel Chris Davis after serving 34 years in the Royal Marines Band Service, the most recent 7 years as Principal Director of Music. The evening was a resounding success with the chance to meet up with old friends, enjoy a musical treat from my old band and to share some fond memories with the assembled. Chris, together with his wife Helen and their children (very grown up now) Jamie and Sarah looked relaxed and Helen received a bunch of flowers, whilst Chris showed off his new violin - made in China he said!
I retired from the Royal Marines Band Service in 2007 having served for 33 years as a musician, eventually becoming a Director of Music and running my own band. After retirement, I took my family sailing in the Philippines with a view to sailing back to the UK via Australia. However, for many reasons our plans changed and after 9 years living in Dartmouth we have now moved to Totnes.I am married to Lynn and we have four children. Daniel and his wife Sara live in Portsmouth; Hannah is married to another Dan and they live with our grandchildren Sophia, Isaac & Elijah in Topsham. Lydia is currently studying in Lancaster and Julia is Studying Art at Totnes, due to attend University at Falmouth in 2016. I teach music in the local school and work part time for the Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority, driving the yacht taxi. Between this, directing the local orchestra, various musical performances, involved with the local church and helping train the local Ten Tors team, life can be very busy.